We all want to live frugally so that we have money for the future: college, vacations, and helping our kids get started in life. Or, if you are like Mitch and I, you are going through a financial adjustment (and about to add twins to the mix!) and figuring out how you can live on less and make your budget stretch. Fortunately, there are almost always areas where people can cut back. Here are a few money saving suggestions to help you cut costs.
Reduce Your Energy Bill
It makes me cringe when I hear how much some people pay in utilities! And some people have a harder time of it because they live in older homes or rent homes with older AC units that don’t work well. (Been there.) Of course, you can’t easily cut back on everyday household necessities like water, electricity, and a broadband connection; but, you can trim the fat by making your home green. Unplugging all your unused electrical devices, air sealing your home, or switching to LED lightbulbs can reduce your energy consumption and save you money on your bills while helping the environment.
You can also reduce your bills by going paperless. It saves the company from having to pay for the printing process so they like to encourage their customers to cancel their paper bills. If you opt to receive your bills by email, you could save yourself a few extra dollars a month on your energy bills, which will add up at the end of the year. (This of course depends on your energy company!)
Sometimes things break around the house or drains get blocked. If it’s nothing too serious, then save money by not calling a professional and doing your own home repairs. DIY isn’t just limited to fixing things around the house either. You can make your own cleaning products, which aren’t as harsh on the skin as chemical products. Not everyone has the right skill set for this, but almost anyone can learn by watching DIY youtube videos or calling upon the help of a handy friend or family member!
Looking good doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Use these money saving hacks to save money on your cosmetics, or you could use what’s in your grocery bags to make your own face masks and hair products. There are a ton of fun ideas on Pinterest as well.
Buying food on a budget is a struggle for a lot of people for various reasons. Fortunately, there are several ways to reduce your food bill each week, including shopping for cheaper store brands, buying non-perishables items in bulk, and sticking to a shopping list. You can also save money on food by avoiding fastfood, packing a lunch to take to work, or freezing your leftovers to eat them later.
Wherever you can, take advantage of discounts, special offers, or coupons. You can find a lot of coupons in the Sunday paper, and if you use them regularly it will far exceed the cost of the paper. Also, if you learn how to “extreme coupon” at a store like Target, you can save a lot on personal products and cleaning products over time. Local stores will also sometimes offer double coupon days. If your local supermarket has a weekly circular, take one and make a note of their weekly discounts. Some stores, like Walmart, may even price match these ads (saving you time as well as money). Remember, the best thing you can do to keep your grocery bills low is to find ways to reduce the amount of waste food you throw away this week. This may mean eating more leftovers or adjusting the quantity you cook at one time.
What has helped your family stay within your budget and save for the future?